When junior high school students who lived in rural areas and small towns received a brief intervention on the topic of prescription drug abuse, a recent study found that they were less likely to engage in abuse of prescription medications, according to the National Institutes of Health. For parents, this means it’s worth it to take a few minutes to talk to their kids about the dangers associated with prescription drug experimentation and how different medications can affect the mind and the body.
What Is Prescription Drug Abuse?
For kids who are between the ages of 10 and 13, almost any use of prescription painkillers and sedatives is termed abuse because so few have a prescription of their own for these intensive medications. Abuse of prescription medications is defined by:
- Using any medication without a personal prescription
- Crushing a pill before swallowing or snorting it
- Taking pills in combination with other drugs, like marijuana or alcohol
- Taking a pill more often or in larger doses than prescribed
Risks of Prescription Drug Abuse
The risks of prescription drug abuse, especially for adolescents and teens, are huge. Overdose is a big risk, especially if taken recreationally or in combination with other drugs. But in addition to the medical dangers, the damage to the brain, emotional development, and physical development at this crucial point in a child’s growth is untold. Add in the social harm that can be done—unsafe sex, unwanted pregnancy, STDs, lost academic progress, and lost progress in recreational activities—and it’s worth it to put forth the effort to help your son avoid the temptation to experiment with prescription medications.
If your teen is abusing prescription drugs and your intervention is too late to stop their use, you can still take action. It’s never too late. Your opinion alone can be a significant influence, especially if they are new to drug use. But you can also create clear boundaries and consequences for crossing those boundaries—then follow through if rules are broken.
If your child is unable to stop using drugs of any kind and his behavior and progress at school continues to go downhill, you can take things to the next level and contact us at Muir Wood. We can help you to determine which therapeutic and experiential rehabilitation services will best help your son to get back on track, making more healthy choices for his life. Call now.